With over 200 buses plying the road today, Primero Transport Services Limited brought a sharp revolutionary change in the transportation oasis.
With its Blue BRT buses saturating the centre of excellence some 5 years ago, the company has continually galvanised the sector, also opening new doors to technologies and effective advancements in the industry.
(The transport service provider) presided over by the acclaimed number one bus conductor in Lagos state as he’s rightfully called, (Mr Fola Tinubu) has continued to level his brand (Primero Transport Services Limited) on a pace-setting cue as the overall economy embarks on a recovery phase amidst a fluctuating Covid-19 pandemic era and the END-SARS protest.
While businesses persist in adjusting to varieties of challenging factors in a dynamic centre of excellence state, Ikorodu News Network (INN) met up with Mr Fola Tinubu, Managing Director, Primero Transport Services Limited (and also a recipient of the prestigious Ikorodu News Network of recognition awards class 2020) to ascertain the present phase of his brand, plans to improve service delivery and synergies with the Lagos state government.
INN: At this point, we can say the economy is at a recovery stage, last time we met it was at the crescendo of the Covid-19 pandemic in Lagos state, how has Primero TSL coped with the lingering challenges and what is the secret to thriving amidst the pandemic and END-SARS protest?
Fola Tinubu: It is no secret that all businesses were affected during the Covid-19 lockdown, only those into online transactions never really got affected. As for Primero TSL, our revenues dropped by 50%, last year, though we still retained our staff. It has not been easy for us, but it is what it is.
INN: The Lagos state government has also brought in new buses to ply across the state, how is this progressive development impacting Primero TSL?
Fola Tinubu: It is a positive development for Primero TSL, the Lagos state government allocated 150 buses to increase our fleet. It is simply a positive impact and it would help to ease the waiting time across Lagos state.
INN: You’re a technology-driven manager, are there any measures put in place to advance your service delivery via technology?
Fola Tinubu: The Cowry card is one of those measures we’ve put in place, we’re also working on changing the method we use to monitor our buses across the state. We are deploying technology to improve maintenance and security. Technology sets the pace and we’re technology prone to advancing our services.
INN: We have heard of recent complaints from passengers most especially at the Ikeja bus terminals as regards exercising patience for a long period of time before getting access to buses en-route to Ikorodu region of Lagos state, what do you have to say to that?
Fola Tinubu: We’re also privy to such information which we have been monitoring for some time now. That challenge is mostly caused by traffic gridlock in accessing Ikeja route through Mobolaji Bank Anthony way. Our drivers are always caught (exhausted) in that traffic trying to get to the waiting passengers at Ikeja bus terminals to convey them to Ikorodu.
“Deploying more buses to Ikeja terminal is not an issue for us. Traffic congestion is the major challenge we are facing there (if you also notice, when the road becomes free, we easily pick up all waiting passengers). We are hoping the Lagos state government will assist us in creating an adequate mechanism to ease the traffic on that route and make the mobilisation around that axis more efficient” Fola Tinubu added.
INN: What are your plans to reduce the waiting period of passengers at bus terminals in areas like Ikorodu garage and Ikeja bus terminal?
Fola Tinubu: More buses on the road means a drastic reduction in the waiting time for passengers. I do not think that bus users should wait for more than 15 minutes before boarding a bus. Right now, we have over 550 buses in our fleet. We’re planning to increase the number of buses on the road by September or in the coming months, to crash down the durations passengers wait for our buses.
“Our goal is to eventually provide 2,000 buses on the road carrying one million passengers daily and ease the transportation system for Lagosians” Fola Tinubu asserted.
INN: You and your entire management embarked on a cleanup program and distributed over 10,000 nose masks in Ikorodu sometime ago. Do you still have plans to support the region?
Fola Tinubu: Yes, but this time around, we’re heading to Mile 12 axis of the state very soon. It is also in our plans to support the less privileged people. We have plans to assist in the education sector. We don’t publicise most of these obligations, we just execute them quietly.